Fuji Nissin i40 HSS force trick

Fuji Nissin i40 HSS force trick

fuji nissin i40 hss

You might know that the i40 is capable of high-speed sync in other Hotshoe mounts, but that Fuji isn’t currently supporting this functionality. Here is a neat Fuji Nissin i40 HSS trick to force the Fuji X-T1 to use high-speed sync feature:

  1. Turn the i40 on manual mode
  2. Press and hold test button for three seconds
  3. Watch the lamp next to the m for manual go on and off. You just turned on high-speed sync (or the same functionality anyway)!
  4. Turn on the flash put the right dial on the appropriate speed
  5. HSS works up to 1/4000

The only catch is that you’re in manual mode, no TTL (through the lens) metering, so you have to manually dial-in the appropriate shutter speed. A bit of a trial-and-error way, but it works.

How it works: With high-speed mode manually activated on the flash, it cycles several thousand times a second. And in case you’re wondering: yes it’s possible to change flash power in this pseudo-HSS mode.

Update, All Fuji cameras tested:

Fuji X-T1: HSS up to 1/4000 OK

X-E2: HSS up to 1/4000 OK

X-pro1: HSS up to 1/4000 OK

X-M1: not working

Let me know how you get on with this Fuji Nissin i40 HSS trick!

 

46 thoughts on “Fuji Nissin i40 HSS force trick”

  1. What test button?! All I have on the back of the Fujifilm i40 is a power button, which in manual mode operates the zoom function….

  2. Thank you very much. It works on my X-E1, HSS up to 1/4000s which is max shutter speed. And, without HSS it syncs up to 1/250s without banding. At 1/320s bands start appearing.
    Yes, if the light next to M is still flashing, then TTL will not work when you turn the dial to TTL. You have to press the test button until the flashing light stops flashing (default mode), and turn dial to TTL to start using the flash in TTL mode.

    1. I have no info on that Kim. The i40 is the only flash for Fujifilm cameras that is capable of syncing at higher shutter speeds though, so it would have to be tested with those flashes.

  3. This is to update my above comments:
    While in manual “M” mode and light is blinking, HSS is possible up to 1/4000s which is the fastest on X-E1. However, I could not get a shot below 1/100s in HSS mode. The image was dark. At and above 1/100s HSS works. However, HSS does not work in any of the other modes (A or TTL, I did not try in slave mode).
    While in HSS mode, and you turn the dial to TTL or A, it does work as it should, that is in TTL or Auto mode (sorry, I made a mistake when I wrote above that TTL will not work when you turn the dial to TTL while in HSS mode).
    Flash continues to be in HSS mode even after you power off, and turn it on the next time. To go back to default mode, hold the test button for 3 secs while the dial is in M mode, and release when the blinking stops.

    1. Hi Su, thanks for your update, very much appreciated. It will not work above 1/4000 sec, because no flash works with the electronic shutter engaged. This Fuji HSS force trick (and normal HSS mode too) emits busts of very short flashes, so that’s why HSS won’t work with slower shutter speeds. If it was fully supported, the camera and flash would relay more info and it would automatically switch. I’m guessing full HSS support will only come for the next X-PRO2 or X-T2, so it’s a workaround for now.

  4. Hi Wim Arys,
    Fuji X-E1’s fastest shutter is 1/4000 , so it does not affect us Fuji X-E1 owners. However, I read that either all 3 (Sony, Nikon and Canon) or few of those are support until 1/8000s, then again, HSS is fully supported for these cameras.
    Now I understand why HSS workaround for Fuji does not work below 1/100s.
    Thanks for this great workaround tip for Fuji. It gives Fuji owners more reason to stay away from their other brand DSLR cameras 🙂

    1. Hi Su, you’re absolutely right. The mechanical shutter in both X-E1 and X-T1 goes up to 1/4000 sec. Faster shutter times can only be achieved when engaging the electronic shutter, where the camera disable all flash functionality. the i40 for Fuji, Canon or Nikon fully supports HSS up to the fastest shutter speeds.

  5. This is a very interesting hack — not only because it works (which is great!) but because it tells us an interesting secret about Fuji’s cameras!

    I don’t have the Fuji version of the i40, but do have the Micro Four Thirds version. This version does support HSS as a documented feature, and you switch it on in exactly the same way as described here. (The part about HSS actually was on a little slip of paper included with the papers, rather than being part of the regular instruction manual, so I suspect it may have been a last-minute feature addition.)

    Now if this HSS trick is simply something built into the i40 flash, and does not involve any communication with the Fuji camera (i.e. it just lengthens the flash duration by pulsing) then I figured it should work on my Micro Four Thirds-model i40 and my Fuji camera, right? So I taped over the extra contacts in the camera hot shoe, and tried it.

    It DOES flash, and it DOES give exposures up to the normal X-sync speed — but above that, the image is darker toward the top, exactly as you’d expect when using too fast a shutter speed with flash.

    From this I infer — and it IS only an inference, mind you — that the Fuji version of the i40 does have some communication with the camera to let it know that a HSS-capable flash is available… even though this isn’t documented anywhere, and Fuji’s own flashes don’t support it.

    (It doesn’t surprise me that special support would be necessary for this: normally, HSS requires a delay function to trigger the flash slightly ahead of the camera, so it already is pulsing at full intensity by the time the first curtain opens.)

    So maybe this means that Fuji flashes with HSS support (and other modernized features, I hope!) will be coming…

    1. Hi JL,

      this is indeed very interesting. After your test, my thinking is that Fuji currently isn’t supporting HSS simply because they have no HSS capable flashes of their own. Would make sense from a business point. I would think the only communication that needs to happen between camera and HSS flash is that the camera needs the sync the shutter speed to the pulsating HSS flashes, so that the sensor is exposed exactly at the time one (or more) of the flash bursts happen. And obviously this is happening with this ‘trick’.
      This puts to rest the idea that the weak point of this hack is the idea that it isn’t using full flash power, as this would be the case with any HSS system.
      I am guessing that your i40 can use through-the-lens metering with your MFT camera though? Is there anything in the literature about that?

      1. Yes, the MFT version of the i40 can use all the flash features of MFT cameras, including through-lens metering with HSS, wireless off-camera control, etc. (It can’t be used as a wireless ‘master’ flash, though, only as a ‘remote’ flash.) I’ll bet all versions of the i40 have basically similar capabilities, since it would be less costly to do that than to build a separate “dumbed-down” version for cameras with less sophisticated flash systems (such as Fuji.)

        In the past I’ve done some experimenting with getting HSS using conventional cameras and flashes, and found that almost ANY flash can do HSS as long as its output peak is long enough. All you need is a way to delay the opening of the camera shutter until the flash has started firing; I built a special “delay box” to do this, and of course HSS-capable cameras add the delay automatically.

        I hope it’s true that Fuji already has built this capability into its cameras (possibly added via some past firmware update) and is only waiting to reveal it until it introduces some new flash units that can use it!

        Any person who has the Fuji version of the i40 could find this out via a simple experiment: put tape over all the signal contacts in the flash shoe except the big center contact, and then see if the HSS “hack” still works. If the hack stops working, that would seem to prove that the camera is somehow communicating with the flash to use HSS. If the hack still works, then the camera is not involved, and this trick is just something clever that Nissin figured out.

          1. Fantastic! I had been putting off buying ANY Fuji-specific flash gear because I figured they would have to upgrade their incredibly lame flash system eventually, and I didn’t want to be stuck with something obsolete. So maybe the i40 is a safe buy…

  6. Wow…this is amazing…but to activate it on my X-T1…I had to turn on my camera with the i40 mounted and set the flash to manual mode…I then turned on the flash…and only after the test button turned green…I then pressed the test button for a few seconds…then the light beside the M started to blink…I did not run a full test but tried it at 1/1000th…and it worked perfectly…I know it uses a lot of power…but sometimes I need that HSS…thanks for this…and am looking forward for fuji to update firmware so we can use TTL with HSS

    1. Hi Sven, yes everything should be powered on first. I agree, HSS is a necessity sometimes. I hope we’ll be able to use it with the electronic shutter too in the future. By the way, it looks like Fujifilm will be working with Nissin and not Metz on any future flash systems.

  7. The HSS works exactly as described on camera, but I have not been able to get it to work off-camera with either my Yongnuo RF-603CII or my Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 (which does allow HSS with my Nikons). Nice little flash and a valuable feature, but until I can get it to work off-camera, I won’t be able to use it much. I very rarely shoot with the flash on-camera. Please keep us all updated if you hear of a solution. Thanks!

    1. Perhaps a firmware update will bring both on and off camera flash. Rumours have it that they have plans to work together with Nissin instead of Metz for the new Fuji HSS flashes, and they just released the Nissin Air system, so who knows….

  8. Nice article wim!
    BTW I have a question regarding to off camera HSS on i40.

    what if we mount the i40 on xt1 with HSS mode turned on and set the second i40 off camera in slave mode also with HSS mode turned on, will the second i40 do the job?

    1. Hi Hakim, I only have one i40, so I can’t test this. But from what I’ve read and researched, this won’t work, unfortunately. We’ll have to wait for full HSS support for off camera HSS.

  9. This was a very useful tip for me but for the opposite reason. Using the Fuji X100s I found I could not shoot above 1000th sec. Also my light was already blinking so it was trying to do HSS with a focal plane shutter. I switched it over with your tip and now the light is on continuously and it now works up to 4000th sec – albeit a little dimmer due to T1 time lag.
    Thank you very much…

  10. Hi

    I AM very close to buying an X-T1, do have one question though.
    Will this HSS workaround work OFF camera using an extension cord from the hotshoe to the I40?

  11. Great tip Win, but before I invest in an i40 have you got any image samples using this hss hack? – I would like to see what quality you can achieve with apetures of at least 2.8 and faster ?

    Thanks
    Jaime.

    1. Hi Jaime, I’ll see if I can find some when I get home next week (I’m abroad now). You’ll be working in manual mode, as HSS is not supported by Fujifilm, so honestly, I think it is more an nice feature to try out if you already own the i40, and not a real reason to invest in this flash.

  12. Not working for me on my X-E2. Camera on manual and ss set at 1/2000, flash on M and set to 1/64 power. Can’t get the white light next to the mode dial on the i40 to blink – when I hold the button for 3 sec., the flash turns off. Any longer than that, and it just cycles through the various zoom settings. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

    1. OK – disregard my response above… I somehow mistook the pilot/test button for the power button – DUH! Once I figured that out, the hack works just as described. Thanks so much, Wim, for figuring out and sharing with the Fuji community this wonderful addition to our flash arsenal.
      Mike

  13. Hey,

    Nice hack, glad you’ve shared it with us. Just one question, do you have any solution for off shoe flashing but with CH or CL (burst mode) turn on. I mean, i need to shoot something with a lot of frames, at least 3 the least. Fuji seems to disable those settings, most probably to avoid flash burn out on small strobes. But regardless of that, still need that capability, that feature came standard through out dslr ranges. Just found out after i’ve traded all my canons for the fujis. Great colours and is though, I have nothing to complain rather than the CL/CH with flashes though.

    Is there any initiative or forum that we could get this thing to FUJI ? maybe a another update ? 🙂

    1. Hi Azam, it looks like there are some hardware limitations that prevent any added functionality to the Fuji flash capabilities. We’ve been hoping for a firmware update, but since the XT1 is already at version 4.00, I’m afraid we’ll have to wait for a new generation of cameras to get any added flash functionality.

  14. How if HSS with wireless off-camera method between fuji x series (fuji x-t10) and nissin i40 (with triger/receiver wirelessly)?

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